Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

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Is the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier; Wheaten Terrier; Wheaten; Wheatie

The basics:
In old Ireland, the nobility kept hounds for hunting, while the common folk kept terriers for all-purpose farm dogs that could both guard and hunt. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier was one of those breeds, and it's often regarded as one of the most devoted. This energetic terrier demands companionship, and it's unlikely to do well with owners who have to leave them alone in an empty house or yard for long hours a day. They do love to play. The ideal owner is active and athletic, with plenty of time to spend with the dog.

Appearance / health:
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a sturdy medium sized dog with a rectangular profile. The head is rectangular, and is somewhat long with a strong muzzle. The eyes are almond shaped and reddish or reddish brown in color. The ears are V-shaped and fold forward. The tail is carried high and is generally docked.

The coarse rough coat also picks up leaves, dirt, twigs, and debris that need to be removed. Brushing can make the soft coat fuzzy and destroy their tousled look. Combing with a medium or large toothed comb frees the tangles, removes the dead hairs, and maintains the tousled look. Scissoring the hairs once in 3-4 months maintains the right length of the coat. Bathing and shampooing occasionally keeps them clean and tidy. Standard care is needed for eyes, ears, pads, and nails.

Wheaten Terriers need moderate exercise. They make good jogging companions. They can be taken for a regular walk once or twice a day. Agility and obedience classes provide a good outlet for Wheatens to vent their energy and prevent boredom.

Wheaten Terriers are prone to progressive retinal atrophy (a genetic disease that causes progressive loss of vision culminating in blindness), colitis (inflammation of colon), hip dysplasia (a hereditary disease that culminates in crippling lameness and arthritis of joints), kidney diseases, and allergic skin problems.

Behavior / temperament:
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are independent, self-willed and stubborn but intensely responsive to owner. They are very playful and cheerful. They constantly need human company and hate being left alone. They are mentally and physically very active and need to be kept busy to prevent boredom. They have a protective instinct and tend to be suspicious of people or other animals. Being a terrier they are good at digging and may escape from down under the fence.

Wheaten Terriers are intelligent and are easy to train. However, they are self-willed and may be stubborn at times and refuse to obey commands. Training needs to be firm and consistent. They have a strong sense of dignity and do not respond to harsh treatment.

Wheatens seldom bark without a reason. They have a high-pitched bark. They bark excessively if not provided with ways and means to vent their energy.


busy dog, great apartment dogs, family pet, happiest dog, affection, loving breed


short attention span, CONSTANT grooming, knot genie


energetic, golden wheat colour

From shelters/rescues



Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Mountain Center, CA


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